neil (satyrica) wrote,

so much went unsaid so we stared at clouds instead

Glastonbury Executive Summary: it was fun! I had an Actual Ticket this year and was camping with M & E but managed to meet up with pretty much everyone I planned to who was there. We didn't get rained on that much, but the occasional shower was just enough to make sure the pre-existing mud never dried out, which made trekking about the site pretty hard work. Every year that I go, I seem to spend less and less time at the main stages and I mainly spent the festival watching small, fun, energetic acts that I've seen before, which I had some regrets about: there was a whole other festival I could have had where I saw PJ Harvey, Sigur Ros, Rat Boy, Kurt Vile and Muse but I was mostly surprised that there weren't more bands playing that I knew, since I've made quite a bit of effort to keep up with 'new' bands this year. The atmosphere was great as usual, a sense of community which was particularly welcome in the wake of outside events, although I didn't have any standout 'magical moments' or encounters with strangers this year.

The journey there on the Wednesday wasn't the best: I got on the coach pretty easily and we made good time until we were about 5 miles away from the site, but our driver had taken us the wrong way and we ended up stuck in the caravan & car queue that was being stymied by the flooded car parks and we proceeded to inch our way forwards over the next three hours until we were finally clear of it. Having set up, I wandered around the site with M&E then headed in the evening out to the Rocket Lounge for some blues from George Elliot followed by the folk-punk of Black Friday before calling it a night.

On Thursday I went to the Avalon Cafe for my traditional festival openers: folk duo The Drystones, who I've seen for four years in a row and are somehow still only 20. The New York Brass Band were playing one of their numerous ebullient sets, covering pop songs with their 20-piece band, on the Greenpeace Stage and then I watched some of Ben Russell & The Charmers' funk back at the Avalon Cafe on the grounds that the bassist worked with E's Dad. I left them to meet up with venta at the Tiny Tea Tent, in accordance with tradition, and then ticked off another annual staple, Tankus the Henge at the Greenpeace Stage. A switch of stage times led us to accidentally watch Loonaloop at the Small World Stage, slightly shambolic didgeridoo-wielding Aussies, who played 'cosmic electronica'. I'd been wanting to see Land of the Giants again ever since I half-caught them from side-on while serving in the Bread and Roses last year: ironically they were playing back there and the tent was so full, pretty much the only place to watch them from was side-on at the bar so I didn't feel like I got the full effect of their mash up of funk, reggae and ska. Another festival favourite is chap-hop pioneer Mr. B the Gentleman Rhymer who entertained the crowds at Croissant Neuf, even bring on his old rival Professor Elemental for one number. We stayed in the tent for the rest of the night, seeing folk/jazz/jive band The Rin Tins as well as Balkan party music from Mr Tea and the Minions, who I had almost seen in London once.

And the next morning it was time for the festival to actually start!

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